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The U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee is continuing its hearing Thursday on the country’s preparedness and response to the coronavirus outbreak that has swept across the nation.
Speakers at the hearing include Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, CDC Director Robert Redfield, and Terry Rauch, director of the defense medical research and development program for the National Institute of Health. Dr. Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response for the Department of Health and Human Services, is also scheduled to testify along with Chris Currie, the director of emergency management and national preparedness for the Government Accountability Office.
The hearing first began on Wednesday before it was cut short when President Donald Trump summoned the top U.S. health officials to an emergency meeting at the White House. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the committee, concluded the previous hearing by criticizing the officials for being underprepared to answer lawmakers’ questions.
On Wednesday evening, Trump announced a ban on travelers to the U.S. from 26 European countries for the next 30 days in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. Countries like Italy also remain on lockdown after the country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, ordered all stores beyond supermarkets and pharmacies to close until further notice.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At least 38 people in the U.S. have died after contracting the virus. Globally, there are more than 127,000 confirmed cases and at least 4,717 deaths, according to JHU.